Getting the Roma Pass when visiting Rome is a great idea to save a bit of money on attractions. It will give you access to some of the most famous cultural sites in Rome. It will allow you to skip the long lines at famous tourist attractions; and it will provide you some useful tools to plan your trip.
For a guide on all the unmissable and quirkiest Rome attractions, head to my post “30 Unmissable, Fun And Cheap Things To Do In Rome.”
This post will guide you into picking the best Roma Pass options for your needs and will share some tips to make the most of it. However, before explaining everything there is to know about it, let me point out what it actually is.
What Exactly Is The Roma Pass And Is It Worth It?
Most people who visit Rome spend between 2 and 4 days there (though I honestly recommend staying longer to make the most of it). They typically spend a day at the Vatican, exploring the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica; one visiting the most famous archeological sites such as the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hills; and add a museum and all the most beautiful squares in the city.
The Roma Pass is a pass that can last between 48 and 72 hours, that the City of Rome has been offering in the past few years with the idea of encouraging people who are visiting Rome to make the most out of their dollar and to allow them a smooth visit to as many sites as possible during their stay.
The most basic Roma pass includes two visits to museums or archeological sites in Rome and unlimited use of public transportation within the city limits. It comes with a nice map of Rome and a metro map, and it will give you a right to a discount to sites and museums not included in the pass.
If you add up the costs of just two tourist attractions you may visit and that of public transportation during your time in Rome (a one way ticket for the metro or bus costs €1.50, while a day pass costs €7 and a 3-day pass costs €18), and throw in an extra museum or site which you will surely end up visiting (or else, why are you in Rome?!) for good measure, you’ll see that after all investing in a Roma card may be a good idea.
But there’s more!
The even better news is that the tickets you get with the Rome city pass are skip the line ones, meaning that you won’t have to put up with the endless lines at the most famous attractions in the city.
Continue reading to discover the best Roma Pass options.
The Best Roma Pass Options – A Summary
Are you in a rush? No need to continue reading. Just pick your favorite Roma pass from this selection:
- Rome tourist card (including Sistine Chapel) – a very convenient option, which includes skip the line entrances to St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museum, a 20% discount on the tickets to the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo, a one day hop-on-hop-off bus ticket and a one way ticket to Fiumicino or Ciampino airport in Rome.
- Roma Pass 48 hours – an excellent budget option with free admissions to a variety of museums.
- Best of Rome all access pass – a fantastic option that includes fast track entrances to the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hills, and also provides an audio-guide to make the most of the attractions.
- Best of Rome: tickets to the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican – all the unmissable attractions in Rome in one ticket, and zero lines. The ticket to the Colosseum also includes the Roman Forum and the Palatine.
- Visit Pass Rome Gold – a very good option as it includes fast track access to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hills. You get a link to download an app that will help you organize your self-guided tour and an audio-guide for the Roman Forum and Palatine.
- Visit Pass Rome Platinum – similar to the Gold pass option above, but a bit more expensive because you also get a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Whichever pass you choose, make sure to read the terms and conditions and whether you need to reserve a specific date and time to enter some of the attractions – this is especially applicable to the Colosseum.
Continue reading to find out what Roma Pass is suitable to your travel needs.
The Best Roma Pass Options – Based On Your Travel Style And Needs
The best all inclusive Roma Pass
If you are planning to spend a few days in Rome and if you are the kind of person that really wants to see it all (or almost), you should go for an all inclusive Roma Pass. All inclusive Rome city passes usually include skip the line tickets to attractions such as the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel; they offer preferred access to St. Peter’s Basilica; tickets to Castel Sant’Angelo and skip the line tickets the unmissable attractions in town such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hills.
Some passes include an audio-guide so that you can go around the various attractions on your own. The most expensive ones also offer a live guided tour at some of the sites. All of them include access to the public transportation system.
There are a few all inclusive Roma pass options around, and I suggest to carefully read the terms and conditions and what they include before picking the one that you think is most suitable to your needs.
Here are some excellent all inclusive Roma Pass options:
- Visit Pass Rome Gold – it includes fast track access a variety of sites including the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums; privileged access to St. Peter’s Basilica and Castel Sant’Angelo; skip the line tickets to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hills. An app will help you draft an itinerary and you’ll get an audio-guide for the Roman Forum and Palatine. It also includes a public transportation pass.
- Visit Pass Rome Platinum – a more expensive option that also gives you a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.
- Best of Rome all access pass – with this pass you get fast track entrances to the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hills. You also receive an audio-guide. The site doesn’t specify if transportation is included – but the price is more convenient than the previous two, so a good option if you don’t mind walking or buying your own transport.
Remember that no matter which pass you choose, you’ll have to reserve a specific slot for visiting attractions such as the Colosseum.
The best Roma Pass for flashpackers
Are you only spending one or two full days in Rome? First of all, that’s a pity – this city deserves way more time. However, the good news is that you can still enjoy it, get a taste for it and then come back to explore it more in depth. In that amount of time, you can see all the most famous attractions – especially if you get a Rome city pass that allows you to skip the lines and save a lot of time.
These are the best Roma Pass options if you only have one or two full days in Rome:
- Metro Card Rome: this is a very basic pass which includes a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket and public transportation pass for 24 hours (though there also is a 72 hours option). You get an audio-guide while on the bus, but you don’t get passes to any of the attractions. It’s good to use it if you literally only want to go sightseeing.
- Omnia Card for Rome and Vatican City: a more expensive yet better version than the one above if you actually want to visit places. You can opt for the 24 hours and 72 hours pass and you will get a skip the line ticket to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, preferred access and audio-guide for St. Peter’s Basilica, access to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the Mamertine Prison.
- Best of Rome: tickets to the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican: with this pass, you get skip the line tickets to all the unmissable attractions in town. Your ticket to the Colosseum includes entrance to the Roman Forum and the Palatine. You also get a free audio-guide.
- Rome tourist card (including Sistine Chapel): this Roma card includes skip the line entrances to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. You also get a 20% discount on tickets to the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo and a one day hop-on-hop-off bus ticket. Finally, you can count on a one way ticket to Fiumicino or Ciampino airport.
The best Roma Pass which include an audio-guide
I find that seeing a place without getting any background information is a bit of a waste of time. You will see it, you will marvel at it, but you won’t really get to know it and you won’t be able to fully appreciate it. If you agree with me, you will be keen on having a guide in most places you visit in Rome, or at least an audio-guide.
Not all Roma Pass options include an audio-guide and if you want it, you will have to read the small print of the many options around to find those that do. I have done this for you, to save you some time (thank me later!).
These Rome city passes all include an audio-guide:
- Best of Rome: tickets to the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican – it includes skip the line tickets to all the must sees and a free audio-guide.
- Best of Rome all access pass – a good Roma pass with fast track entrances to the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hills. It includes an audio-guide.
- Roma Pass 48 hours – a budget-friendly option with free admissions to several museums, but not include the Colosseum. The audio-guide is included.
- Rome tourist card (including Sistine Chapel) – another budget friendly option with skip the line entrances to St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museum; a 20% discount on the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo; a one day hop-on-hop-off bus pass; a one way ticket to Fiumicino or Ciampino airport; and an audio-guide on all sites you visit.
- Omnia Card for Rome and Vatican City: this 24 or 72 hours Rome city pass gets you a skip the line ticket to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel; preferred access and audio-guide for St. Peter’s Basilica; access to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the Mamertine Prison.
The best Roma Pass for budget travelers
Do you have a limited budget? Are interested in visiting just the highlights of Rome and then walk around on your own terms to explore the more hidden corners of the city and the quirkiest places? Do you still want to make the most of your time in the city, and especially avoid the hassle of standing in line to enter the attractions? Then you should opt for one of the most budget friendly passes.
The less expensive Roma city pass options will guarantee you entrance to the most famous attractions in Rome and give you a discount to the rest, and you will be able to enjoy public transportation within the city limits.
Here are the best budget Roma Pass options:
- Roma Pass 48 hours – this is the most budget friendly option, but keep in mind it does not include tickets to the Colosseum.
- Roma Pass – a basic pass that includes a skip the line ticket to the Colosseum but not to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.
The best Roma Pass if you prefer walking
Rome is a very big city, with large distances, lots of traffic and severe public transportation issues. Central metro stations often close for maintenance works causing severe delays and nuisances to travelers (the one in Piazza di Spagna has opened again recently, after being closed for several weeks). This means that you can’t fully rely on public transportation to take you where you want to go.
The good news, however, is that walking around in Rome is incredibly pleasant, as there is always something to marvel at.
If you feel you won’t be making much use of public transportation, you should get a pass that doesn’t include it and get tickets on the go in one of the local kiosks whenever needed (a one way ticket costs €1.50, a day pass costs €7 and a 3-day pass €18). Most Rome city passes offer a hop-on-hop-off bus pass anyways.
These are the best Roma Pass options that don’t include public transportation:
- Rome tourist card (including Sistine Chapel) – you get skip the line tickets to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums; a 20% discount on tickets to the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo and a one day hop-on-hop-off bus ticket.
- Best of Rome: tickets to the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican – it offers skip the line tickets to all the unmissable places to visit in Rome and a free audio-guide.
- Best of Rome all access pass – it includes fast track entrances to the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hills and an audio-guide, but no public transportation.
Continue reading to learn how to make the most of your Roma Pass.
Practical Information To Make The Most Of Your Roma Pass
What’s included in the Roma Pass?
The Roma Pass allows you to enter more sites than I can possibly mention in this post. You obviously have to pick whichever ones you want to visit upon purchasing your pass, unless yours is an all inclusive one.
Among the sites typically included in a Rome city pass, there are the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, St. Peters Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hills, Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome National Museums and even Ostia Antica, which is an easy 30 minutes train ride from Rome (remember you can use your transportation pass to get to the immediate surroundings of Rome).
For more day trips from Rome, check out my post “20 Great Day Trips From Rome.”
Make sure to check the sites included in the Roma Pass you are purchasing!
You also get a 20% discount for many other sites.
Depending on the pass you have purchased, you will also get a hop-on-hop-off bus pass and a public transportation pass, an audio-guide for most sites, a live guide on some sites, and use of wifi at the hotspot.
You can get a Rome public transportation pass valid for 72 hours here. It may seem pricey but keep in mind it includes transfer from Ciampino airport.
What’s not included in the Roma Pass?
The Roma Pass never includes transportation from any of the the airports in Rome (though some include transportation to either Fiumicino or Ciampino Airport).
Landing in Rome? Make sure to read my post “How To Get From Fiumicino Airport To Rome City Center.”
Other sites and attractions typically not included in the Roma Pass are the Domus Aurea, night tours of the Colosseums, underground sites such as the Catacombs and special light shows.
Some passes do not include the Vatican – the ones mentioned in this post typically do, because I feel that no visit to Rome is complete without a proper tour of the Vatican!
At the time of writing, the Roma Pass can’t be used to visit Galleria Borghese.
Making reservations for the Colosseum
Making reservations for the Colosseum
As of March 2019, no matter the kind of Roma Pass you purchase, you have to make reservations to visit the Colosseum picking the exact date and time of your visit. This is done in an effort to manage the crowds – the other side of the coin is that with less people there at the same time, you get to enjoy the place more.
Keep in mind that no more than 3000 people are allowed inside the Colosseum at once, which restrict the number of tickets sold each day.
If you are planning to visit Rome, I strongly advise you to reserve your ticket to the Colosseum as much in advance as possible, or you risk being left without and unable to visit.
Don’t forget that your ticket to the Colosseum gives you a pass to also enter the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hills within 48 hours.
What to do if the Colosseum is fully booked
Say you get your chosen Roma Pass which includes tickets to the Colosseum and then forget to book the Colosseum right away. You finally remember you have to do it, and when trying to reserve your visit, you discover it is fully booked. Now, that is a real nuisance. There are ways to get around this issue though.
The most logic thing to do is trying to get to the Colosseum first thing in the morning to check with the box office if they have any tickets available for that day. Chances are slim, but you may want to give it a try.
If you don’t want to leave it to that, make sure to check on the website of CoopCulture to see if they have any tickets left. Do that regularly, as some people may cancel and spaces may open up.
If that doesn’t work, you may want to book a tour via a third party agency – let them know you have a Roma Pass and chances are they will only charge you for the cost of the guided tour.
Lastly, you can even decide to actually book a tour of the Colosseum and use the pass for another attraction.
Where to buy the Roma Pass
You can buy the Roma Pass at any site that participates in it and at tourist information points around Rome. You can also buy it at Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports, in the arrival area, and at Tiburtina and Termini stations.
However, I wholeheartedly recommend getting your Roma Pass in advance online, so that you can indicate your preferred date and time for visiting places such as the Colosseum and all you have to do once you get to Rome after a long flight is heading to your hotel to rest and relax.
These are some quick links to buy your Rome city pass:
- Rome tourist card (including Sistine Chapel)
- Roma Pass 48 hours
- Best of Rome all access pass
- Best of Rome: tickets to the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican
- Visit Pass Rome Gold
- Visit Pass Rome Platinum
Do you need to have a physical copy of your Roma Pass?
Make sure to double check whether your Roma Pass has to be printed or not. For some of them, you only have to save it on your cell phone. In other cases, you need to print it out. Finally, in some cases you need to actually pick up your card at one of the places where it is also sold. Even in the latter case, I recommend buying it online so that you can pre-book your Colosseum visit.
Good to know
You can expect some lines at the Colosseum and at the Vatican even when you have a Rome city pass, because you will have to go through security. The good news is that they will by no means be as long as those for getting the tickets.
Take care to note closing times of museums and attractions: museums are closed on Mondays, on December 25 and 26, on January 1 and May 1. The Vatican Museums are also closed on Sundays and on 29 June.
Remember that modest clothing is required when visiting St. Peter’s Basilica and any other church. Make sure to wear full length pants or a skirt that covers your knees, and cover your shoulders.
Final thoughts on the Roma Pass
The Roma Pass is a very convenient thing to get if you plan to visit a lot of sites in Rome (you need to visit two or more to make it worth the money) and – most importantly – if you want to skip the lines at the most popular attractions. Another reason to get it is that you can get transportation included in your pass – which means you can jump on any bus or metro without having to worry about buying a ticket every time.
Further readings about Rome
For all the tips on how to skip the lines at the main attractions in Rome, check out the following posts:
- “Five Smart Ways To Get Tickets To The Colosseum And Skip The Lines”
- “How To Get Tickets To The Sistine Chapel And The Vatican Museums And Skip The Line”
- “How To Get St. Peter’s Basilica Tickets And Skip The Line”
- “A Complete Guide To Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica Dome”
- “Seven Smart Ways To Get Galleria Borghese Tickets And Skip The Lines”
- “A Guide To Visiting The Pantheon, Rome + What You Should Know About Pantheon Tickets“
Make sure to also read my itineraries:
- The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In A Day
- The Perfect Itinerary For 3 Days In Rome
- The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In 2 Days
- A Fantastic Itinerary For 4 Days In Rome
- A Wonderful Itinerary For 5 Days In Rome
- A Great Itinerary For A Fabulous Week In Rome
- 31 Incredible Places To Explore Rome Off The Beaten Path
Finally, check out my posts “All The Food In Rome You Should Eat: 25 Delicious Dishes” and “A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Rome.”