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Pantheon tickets - when you need them, how to get them

Wondering if tickets are required for entry to the Roman Pantheon?

Yes! They are!

Sometimes.

rome pantheonVisiting the Pantheon in Rome should be at the top of your list of must-sees. Does the Pantheon require tickets? Find out here!

Here’s everything you need to know about how, where, and when to get tickets, and the best way to visit the Roman Pantheon.

For more about the history, architecture and meaning of this amazing monument from Ancient Rome, visit this dedicated page about the Pantheon Rome.

Pantheon Rome tickets - everything you need to know

You could pretty much just show up in the square where the Rome Pantheon is, wait in line, and go inside.

But you might want to know a few things so your visit goes smoothly.

On this page, you'll find all the updated news about how to visit the Roman Pantheon, along with other practical information:

What is the cost to enter the Pantheon in Rome?

The Pantheon Rome is one of the most stunning and best-preserved monuments from Ancient Rome, so visiting the Pantheon should be high on your list of must-sees.

pantheon coffered ceilingOne of my favorite things to do in the Pantheon is watch the light on the coffered ceiling.

And it’s so easy to visit.

It’s central and near many other must-see sites in Rome.

It’s open daily throughout the day. It doesn’t take that long to visit.

And best of all, it’s free!

Wasn’t there going to be an admission charge for the pantheon?

Over the past few years, it looked like an entry fee would be implemented. There was even a semi-official announcement about Pantheon tickets but then nothing happened. 

Locals and tourists alike speculated about how much it would cost and how they would manage ticket sales

Many people were against the idea.

The Roman Pantheon is, after all, a church. (It's official name is Santa Maria ad Martyres.)

But it’s also a monument visited by millions of people each year. And it requires upkeep.

In Rome, churches are free to visit. Even St Peter’s Basilica is free.

In Florence and many other art cities across Italy, you will often find you have to pay to visit a church as a tourist.

So, it did make some sense that they would charge a fee for visiting the Pantheon.

One day I spoke to one of the policemen there about this and he gave me something of an explanation.

pantheon with people around itPeople waiting to go inside the Pantheon in Rome.

It seems that the property outside of the Rome Pantheon, including the portico, belongs to the state of Italy.

But the inside belongs to the Vatican.

And since they couldn’t agree on the fee or logistics for selling tickets, they dropped the subject.

Is this true?

Maybe. It makes sense to me. Will this situation last forever? We just never know.

For now, the Roman Pantheon remains free to visit.


The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.


Does the Pantheon require tickets?

So if there is no admission fee to enter the Pantheon, you don’t need tickets, right?

Well actually, not quite.

On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, you must book your visit to the Roman Pantheon at least one day in advance. (And you can only book about 2-3 weeks ahead.)

Entry is still free and there is no fee to book.

But you will not get in on those dates without booking.

(You can try to book in the moment, but lately on the weekends, Pantheon tickets have been completely sold out so it really is best to plan a little bit ahead.)

How to book Your Pantheon tickets

This is the official website of the Pantheon as a church.

You can find mostly up to date info about hours and liturgical events. You do not need tickets for these events.

This is the official website of the Pantheon as a state-run monument. This is where you can book your free Pantheon tickets.

What happens if you can’t get tickets or show up on a weekend and didn’t realize you have to book in advance?

You can try to book guided tours with a tour company.

Availability may be limited, and naturally this means paying to visit what is normally a free site, but it can be a way in and you would receive the information in the guided tours to boot.


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The Pantheon in Rome

The current Pantheon was rebuilt between 110-126 CE under Roman Emperor Trajan and his adopted son Emperor Hadrian.

The first Pantheon in Rome was built in the time of Emperor Augustus by Marcus Agrippa - the original inscription on the front was preserved.

The Pantheon is a wonder of engineering as it contains what is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.

We are not sure exactly of all its uses and meanings when it was used in Ancient Rome.

However, it seems that one use of it was as a giant sundial.

sunbeam through pantheon oculusIn summer, the sunbeam pours through the oculus and lights up the floor of the Pantheon.

The sun passes through the 9-meter oculus (hole) in the roof, and sweeps around the coffered concrete dome, creating different lighting effects throughout a given day and throughout the seasons.

There are even special dates and times during the year when the light creates a special effect.

For more about its architecture, history, and uses, visit my dedicated page all about the Rome Pantheon.

Pantheon guided tours options

You can easily visit the Pantheon on your own as a self guided tour.

There are little stations along the route where you can put in a coin and listen to a bit about what you are looking at.

Or you can book one of the official audio guides.

Or, bring a good guidebook with you so you can get some sense of the importance of this structure from Ancient Rome.

Or, read all about the Pantheon here.

And even if you don't feel like taking a tour or reading or listening to the audio guides, it is a truly amazing place to just be and enjoy at your own pace.

people inside pantheonThis is the queue of people waiting to purchase the official audio guide tour inside the Rome Pantheon. You can save time by booking this in advance.

Click below if you'd like to pre-book the Pantheon's audio-guide.

(This is not the same as booking your visit to the Pantheon when required for a weekend entry)

However, like any ancient monument with so much history, it is certainly worth taking a guided tour and having someone explain things as you go, plus you generally get skip the line access with a tour.

There are three types of guided tours you can take at the Pantheon:

Click below if you'd like an audio guide app for your smartphone.

(Entry not included.)


What are the Roman Pantheon opening hours?

The Pantheon is open daily 9am - 7pm. Last entry is at 6:30pm.

These hours may change if there is a special event or liturgical event.

Here is the official Pantheon website where you can double check for any schedule changes.

The Pantheon is closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day. It may also close on August 15.

Can you attend Mass in the Pantheon?

The Pantheon was converted to a Christian church in the 7th century, and has been a functioning church ever since.

Pantheon Mass times

Mass is held at 5pm Saturdays and on pre-holidays, and 10:30am on Sundays and public holidays - mass times do not generally affect the last entry or general Pantheon opening hours for visitors.

You can also attend midnight Mass at the Pantheon in Rome on Christmas Eve.

Can you get pantheon tickets for the Pentecost mass?

rose petals in pantheonOne of the most beautiful ways to see the Pantheon is on Pentecost Sunday when firemen drop thousands of rose petals through the oculus. It's not possible to book in advance for this event.

The Roman Pantheon is open for Mass on Pentecost Sunday, and there is a Mass held that morning.

After the 10:30am mass, members of Rome's fire brigade climb to the top of the Pantheon's concrete dome and drop thousands of red rose petals through the oculus.

It's an amazing sight and in recent years it's become a very popular event.

If you want to see this beautiful moment inside the Pantheon, you'll need to arrive by about 7am and wait in the queue to get in.

Then you will need to attend Mass, which lasts about an hour.

They drop the petals once Mass is finished.

Currently there are no tickets that get you in to this event.


Where is the Pantheon located?

The Roman Pantheon is in the Campo Marzio rione  (neighborhood) in Rome's historic center.

I would consider it to be one of the most central monuments you can visit in Rome.

The Pantheon's official address is Piazza della Rotonda (this is because the Pantheon is informally known as Santa Maria Rotonda.)

When it was constructed during the Roman Empire, it was one of the few buildings in the area. The door faces straight across to the Mausoleum of Augustus.

plastic model of pantheon in ancient romeIf you visit the Ara Pacis museum, you can see this model of how the Campo Marzio area looked in Ancient Rome. The door of the Pantheon faces the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus.

What is the distance from the Pantheon to the Colosseum and other Rome attractions?

You might say the Pantheon is at the very center of the Eternal City (more or less, and depending how you look at it.)

But you probably want to know where it is in relation to other Rome monuments and sites, and of course how to get there.

Pantheon to Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps

On foot, it's about 5 minutes from Piazza Navona, and 15 minutes from Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps.

The closest Metro station is Spagna at the Spanish Steps.

The Pantheon is a 15-minute walk from there.

Many buses stop nearby, either at Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II (get off at Argentina) or on Corso Rinascimento (get off at Senato.)

You can easily visit the Pantheon when you take the Hop-on/Hop-off bus.

To see the Pantheon's location on a map of Rome, you can visit this Google map here (the link opens in a new window).

Pantheon to Colosseum

Built in around 125CE, the Rome Pantheon is only about 40-50 years younger than the Colosseum, which was built between 70 – 80CE.

rome colosseumThe Colosseum was built in around 70-80 CE, while the Pantheon was built around 40-50 years later.

They are not that close to each other, you can walk between the two sites in about 30-40 minutes.

Some tours of Ancient Rome combine a visit to the Colosseum with a visit to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

When is the best time to visit the Roman Pantheon?

Best time to avoid the queue

Since you now have to reserve to visit on the weekends and holidays, my suggestion would be to visit on those days, precisely because you will have a booking.

Even if there is a bit of a line, it moves very quickly because everyone in that line is showing their timed ticket and going inside so crowd control is not an issue.

During the week when you cannot book ahead, there is now almost always a long line to get in.

Since entry is free, and the line is mostly about crowd control, it moves fairly quickly so don't be too daunted if you see a line that snakes around the piazza.

In winter when Rome tends to be less crowded, you may find less of a line but don't count on it. The Pantheon is always popular with Romans so you'll find them in line too.

No matter what time of year, if you come first thing in the morning when it opens, you will rarely find a queue.

Pantheon in the rain

You might find yourself visiting the Pantheon when it’s raining. You might even want to.

If it's raining pretty hard, you will get treated to seeing the rain come through the oculus. (Just be mindful of the marble floor which can get slippery.)

pantheon marble floorPeople are looking up to see the rain coming through the oculus. Mind the slippery marble floor!

Best time to visit the Pantheon to enjoy the light and light phenomena

As for the best time of day to visit the Roman Pantheon, really any time is fine. It's always amazing to me, any time of day or night.

But since the inside of the Pantheon has some special properties, here are some things you might want to consider:

Besides the doorway, the only light inside the Rome Pantheon comes from the oculus in the ceiling.

arc of light over pantheon doorwayThe Pantheon at 1 PM on September 4 - the light from the oculus forms an arc over the doorway.

Depending on the time of year, the light beam will be higher or lower. In the middle of the day the light beam will shine straight down.

In winter, the light beam will be moving very close to the top of the dome as the sun is low in the sky.

In summer, the light beam moves closer to the bottom of the dome, even along the walls, as the sun is higher in the sky.

Here are some very special days of the year not to miss if you want to see a fascinating phenomenon inside the Pantheon, either at 12 noon or at 1pm:

  • April 7, noon - the arc of light surrounds the doorway
  • April 21 (Rome's birthday), noon - the light aligns with the doorway and pours outside
  • Days on or near the summer solstice when the light shines straight down to the floor
  • September 4, 1 PM - the arc of light surrounds the doorway
  • September 23 - the light aligns with the door slightly above it

Can you visit the Pantheon at night?

The Pantheon is one of the most beautiful monuments to see at night, even if only from the outside.

pantheon at nightPiazza della Rotonda and the Pantheon are beautiful to see at night.

But because of its opening hours, if you are here in winter, you can visit the Pantheon inside while it’s dark out.

It’s quite a special experience.

pantheon oculus nightAt night, you can see the dark sky through the oculus of the Pantheon.
pantheon at night inside looking outWhen you visit the Pantheon at night in winter, the darkness outside creates an ethereal atmosphere.

How long does it take to visit? What is a visit inside like?

The entire visit, including any standing in line you may have to do, should take under an hour.

people waiting in line outside pantheonThis is the line of people waiting to go inside the Rome Pantheon on a rainy November day.

A simple non-stop leisurely stroll around the inside of the Roman Pantheon takes approximately ten minutes.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the square, the fountain, and the view of the Pantheon from the front and sides. 

pantheon floorThe new way to visit the Rome Pantheon means you will go around the edges. The center is off-limits.

You will enter on one side and then walk around the sides of the Rome Pantheon.

The center is off limits (which means you get to really see and admire the beautiful floor, which is the original floor from Ancient Rome!)

Once inside, you do not have to go at a specific pace. You are welcome to stand and look around and take photos.

You will leave through the same door where you came in (which is, in fact, the only door to the Roman Pantheon.)

Is there a dress code to enter the Roman Pantheon?

The Pantheon is a church and so, as with churches around Rome and Italy, you should dress appropriately to enter.

This means having covered knees, shoulders, and midriffs.

There is no problem entering a church, even Saint Peter's Basilica, in casual attire, as long as it's modest.

You are welcome to wear jeans, sandals, t-shirts, etc.

dress code for pantheonRules for dressing properly when entering a church in Italy.

The question may be, will you be allowed to enter the Pantheon if you are not appropriately dressed?

The answer is, "maybe."

Over the years, and especially recently, I have seen many a visitor with bare shoulders or short-shorts turned away and not allowed to enter the Pantheon.

This rule is especially enforced at the Vatican and Vatican Museums.

No matter what season you visit Rome, here are 4 things never to leave at home:

Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!

At the Roman Pantheon, as with many other churches around Rome, you may or may not find the rule enforced. 

To be on the safe side, when sight-seeing in Rome, consider the fact that you may want to visit a church and thus, would want to be properly dressed.

In summer, this can be daunting, which is why I suggest always walking around with a scarf.

In summer, other good options include knee-length skirts/dresses/capri pants/shorts, or hiking pants with removable legs that convert to shorts.

Click here to visit my page about what to pack for Rome.


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