What is the Roma Pass? Is it worth getting one?
The pass is a tourist package, offered by the Comune di Roma (the city of Rome), to help visitors get a little bit of a bargain, encourage visits to cultural sites in Rome, and provide them with some useful tools during their visit to Rome.
EXCITING ROMA PASS NEWS AS OF FEBRUARY 2020!
There are new places you can use the Roma Pass:
Circus Maximus and Circus Maximus Experience (Virtual Reality)
S.U.P.E.R. Sites on Palatine Hill/Roman Forum
Caracalla Baths Experience (Virtual Reality)
City of Rome public bathrooms (p-stops)
This page offers a comprehensive review of all the questions I've answered over the years about the Roma Pass, such as:
When you purchase the pass, which costs 52€, you get two free visits to the museums and archeological sites on their list, plus unlimited use of buses and the metro (in town.)
Holders of the pass who use it for free entry to the Colosseum do not have to wait in line to get in (although there are other ways to avoid waiting in line at the Coliseum.)
Check out one of the line-skipping options here.
The pass also comes with a great fold-out map of Rome, that encompasses even the outer lying areas and many archeological sites you may wish to visit.
The map also includes a metro (subway) map of Rome, a map of the sites along the Appia Antica, and a map of Ostia Antica (one of the sites included in the Roma Pass.)
It does NOT include access to the hop-on hop-off buses.
Finally, you also get a booklet of any current exhibits or events, or even tourist services, which offer a discount to holders of the pass.
The Vatican Museums are not included in the Roma Pass.
You may be interested in the Omnia Pass or other Rome Combo Pass, which include the Vatican Museums.
The Roma Pass package is good for 3 days from the first date of use.
Now you have to decide if you will get the benefits of it during these three days.
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.
A typical visit to Rome is about 3 days.
In this time, you can see the major plazas and fountains of Rome, Vatican/Vatican Museums, Ancient Rome (Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum) and maybe the Galleria Borghese museum.
Since visiting the Vatican and Vatican museums will take up one day of major sight-seeing, that leaves two days to use the pass for other sites in Rome.
Most people use the pass to get free entry to the Coliseum and the Galleria Borghese.
(If you do not want to or cannot get a reservation at the Galleria Borghese, I suggest visiting the Capitoline Museums as your second site.)
If you pay for them separately, entry to the Colosseum is 16 Euros and entry to the Galleria Borghese is 15 Euros. This comes to 31 Euros.
Will you visit at least one other museum or monument in Rome on this list, in the 3 days?
They are all discounted with the pass, so if you have a very intense schedule of museum/monument visiting, then you might get your money's worth out of the Roma Pass.
In my experience, people seem to want the Roma Pass more than anything else to be able to skip the line, especially at the Colosseum.
When it's high season in Rome, the lines to get in to the two most popular attractions, the Colosseum and the Vatican, can be long. More than an hour's wait sometimes. No fun, especially in the summer heat!
Most of the other popular sites in Rome do not have the same kind of queue, and even if there is one, it usually moves pretty quickly. But in any case, with the Roma Pass, you simply skip the line. And lately I have seen lines to get into Castel Sant'Angelo. With the Roma Pass, you skip the line.
Just remember the pass does not include the Vatican (but the Omnia Pass does, and you get to skip the line at the Vatican with that.)
Also, there are other ways to skip the lines. But the Roma Pass makes it easy.
The pass costs 52€.
Remember, you also get, included in the pass, unlimited Metro/bus use.
So, will you use nearly 14 Euros of bus/metro rides? A one-way bus/metro ticket costs 1.50€, so you'd need to take at least 10 rides in 3 days for it to be worthwhile for that purpose.
If you are staying near Termini station or in Trastevere, or near the Vatican, and need to take the metro to get into the center, or, if you have any walking issues and plan to use public transportation a lot, then maybe you will get this use out of it.
If you just want to use the Rome city bus and metro system extensively, consider purchasing a day pass for 7€, a 2-day pass for 12.50€, a 3-day pass for 18€ or a week-long pass for 24€.
You may purchase these at almost any tobacco shop or news stand.
NEW SITES ON ROMA PASS!!
Great news! There are new sites now available to visit with the Roma Pass (and other City Passes).
S.U.P.E.R. sites on the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum
Circus Maximus and Circus Maximus Experience
Most people tend to use the pass to visit the Colosseum and the Galleria Borghese. Perhaps you have already seen these, or don't want to see them.
There are a lot of museums and sites covered by the Roma Pass, but to give you an idea of the most popular sites, here is a very short list:
Capitoline Museums (my top choice!) - an excellent museum, on Capitoline Hill, just above the Roman Forum, and very much worth a visit if you like the ancient stuff.
Castel Sant'Angelo - once Hadrian's mausoleum, later a hiding out place for popes trying to flee when Rome kept getting sacked...a giant fortress with a moat; a prison and execution site, this monument is packed with history, beautiful art, and one of the best views of Rome. Bonus - enjoy a coffee or aperitivo at the rooftop cafe with views of St. Peter's Dome!
The Rome National Museums - which include, among other things, such popular museums as the Palazzo Altemps (wonderful palazzo near piazza Navona filled with ancient Greek and Roman sculptures); and the Palazzo Massimo (near Termini train station, a museum with fabulous examples of ancient mosaics and relics)
The Ara Pacis - a gorgeous building of a museum, not far from the Spanish Steps, housing the Altar to Peace, an ancient Roman relic that deserved its own space. There are other finds in this museum as well, but the two best things are the Altar, and the stunning building itself.
Palazzo Valentini - one of the most popular archeological sites in Rome, these excavations led to finds underneath a noble palazzo. This is one of the few Rome underground sites you can visit with the Roma Pass.
The ruins at Ostia Antica - a 30-minute train ride from Rome, Ostia Antica is a very under-visited, superbly preserved ancient port city. Think Pompeii without the lava or ash.
This is not a complete list, but it does include what I know are among the most visited, most popular sites.
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!
This is a new rule, as of March 2019. Even holders of the Roma Pass (or any other type of Rome City Pass) have to reserve a date and time at the Colosseum.
You can no longer just show up without a timed entry ticket.
This is to manage the crowds and the flow, like at the Vatican Museums.
However, unlike at the Vatican Museums, there is a limit to how many people can be inside the Colosseum at once (3,000 people is maximum capacity), and, there is therefore a limit to how many tickets will be available each day.
So if you do not book your ticket in advance, and just show up at the Colosseum, you risk not being able to get in at the time you want, or possibly not even getting in at all if they run out of tickets.
Visit my page about Colosseum tickets for details.
When you purchase the Roma Pass in advance (online), you have an option in that moment to select the Colosseum as your free site (if you pick the 48-hour pass), or as one of your two free sites (if you pick the 72-hour pass).
At that time, you will be able to book the time and date you want.
If you decide to buy your Colosseum ticket and Roma Pass together, you can do this directly on the CoopCulture website.
Now I am starting to get this question a lot.
Since they started requiring timed reservations for entry to the Colosseum, many people who have bought the Roma Pass without booking the Colosseum at the same moment are finding themselves without any available dates/times to use the Roma Pass for entry to the Colosseum.
So here are your options:
Ready to plan your trip?
The Galleria Borghese is a very popular Rome attraction, but they have a limited number of tickets to sell each day.
Only 360 people are allowed in at once, and there are entries every hour for two-hour time slots beginning at 9am, and usually finishing at 7pm (although some nights, they are open later.)
In very low season, you might be able to just walk up without reserving in advance. But you are better off, any time of year, simply booking ahead.
For holders of the Roma Pass, this booking is free. You can do it online, or by calling. Visit my page about the Galleria Borghese for details.
If you decide to use your Roma Pass for free entry to the Colosseum, you will automatically also get free entry to the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum (these are considered one park.)
This counts as one use/entry with your Roma Pass.
You can now use the Roma Pass to access the S.U.P.E.R. sites on the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum. This would be considered a second entry, as these sites are not included in the regular Colosseum/Palatine Hill/Roman Forum ticket.
In my opinion, using the Roma Pass to access the S.U.P.E.R. sites is a good idea when you do not plan to also visit the Colosseum, or, if you really want to split this visit up over two days and spend a lot of time inside the Palatine Hill.
If you just want to upgrade your Colosseum/Palatine/Forum ticket to see the S.U.P.E.R. sites on the same day, you can simply take it to the Palatine Hill and pay 4€ to upgrade.
So your Roma Pass would be put to better use at a different site.
No matter how you book the Colosseum, you will get an entry ticket that looks like this:
The ticket gives you timed entry to the Colosseum. It ALSO gives you, within a 24-hour period around that Colosseum entry time, access to the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum.
Entry to the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum is NOT timed, but you must use your Colosseum ticket to enter this park on the same day as the Colosseum entry time. In other words, you have one full day to use the ticket, but the main factor will be what time your Colosseum entry is.
There is NO re-entry to the Colosseum, and no re-entry to the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum.
Expect to spend about 1 hour inside the Colosseum, at at least 2 hours inside the Palatine Hill/Roman Forum.
Not included with the Roma Pass are:
If you decide you want one of these passes, one option can be to purchase it once you land.
Just know that although the pass is good for use on Rome's buses and the Metro, the train taking you into the center from Fiumicino airport, The Leonardo Express, is not covered by the Roma Pass, so having the pass at the airport doesn't save you any money yet.
After a long flight, and fighting crowds, and waiting for luggage, wouldn't it be nicer to just get to your hotel and settle in? I'd recommend either pre-purchasing the pass online, or buying it in town once you are ready to get started sight-seeing.
As for Ciampino, most people tend to take a taxi, or one of the inexpensive buses, SIT or Terravision, to get into Rome center, and the pass does not include these as free transportation (it does sometimes offer small discounts on these buses.)
Is it worth getting the Roma Pass?
There are two ways to look at this: the first is convenience and ease of use. The second is purely economical:
The biggest convenience of the pass is the "VIP Skip the Line" aspect.
It's nice to know you can just show up and go right to the front of the line. This is most important at the Colosseum, where lines can be long, particularly in high season.
Other advantages include the comprehensive map that's included, and the little booklet with some savings on current exhibits and events. And there is also the peace of mind of knowing you can jump on the bus or metro any time.
I live in and walk around Rome a lot, but even in the center, I sometimes just feel like hopping on the bus if I'm tired and/or hot.
Money-wise, unless you are planning a pretty intense, whirlwind visit to Rome's museums and monuments in a 2-3 day period, it is probably not a big savings. Economically speaking...
The pass is worth getting if:
It might not be worth getting if:
If you have more than 3 days in Rome, and/or otherwise can manage to see more than 2 of the things on their list, in the 3 days, then it's definitely worth getting a the pass, as it will not only encourage you to see more, but also save you some money.
The Roma 48 Hours pass is like the Roma Pass but costs 32 Euros, and includes only one site or museum for free.
Unlimited use of the city's bus and metro system is also included, as with the standard pass.
It might be useful if you only have two days, and/or if you won't include the Borghese Museum.
Click here to buy the Roma Pass 48 hr.
The Omnia Pass, also offered by the city of Rome, is another tourist package offering a slight savings and big convenience to the visitor. The Omnia Pass costs 113 Euros, and offers entry to
Here's the big reason why the Omnia Pass can be worth it - you get to skip the lines for everything including the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter's Basilica.
There are other ways to skip those lines but having this freedom is a pretty nice thing. It means you can decide to visit St. Peter's Basilica before you visit the museums (because otherwise the lines for the basilica are really long and the easiest way to bypass them is via the Vatican Museums.)
Cost-wise it may not add up as a great savings. At 113€, it's 74.50€ Euros more than the Roma Pass. Tickets to the Vatican museums cost 20 Euros (if you pre-purchase online.) This means you need to get at least another 54.50€ of services to break even. Some audio guides are included in this package, but in my opinion, they are not the best type of guide for the Vatican Museums.
Will you have time to ride the Roma Cristiana bus in your 3-day visit? If so, that may be another benefit.
Click here to purchase the Omnia Pass and receive your tickets via email!
Money-wise, I am not sure these passes are that much of a bargain. They don't save you a lot of money unless you make a plan to really get the most out of them and take advantage of discounts to more than just the first free sites.
But the big kicker is the fact that they DO give you a kind of "VIP access", skipping the lines just about everywhere, but especially where you need it most: The Colosseum, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica.
Click here to visit the official web site of the Omnia Pass. You can see all the sites included and find out more details about the pass and how it works.
A few final caveats:
As it turns out, there are a few other companies offering Rome combo passes for sight-seeing.
It's confusing as to which one offers what, and which could be worth getting. So I made a page comparing all of them here.
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