This post will focus on how to visit Rome's Pantheon, a symbol of Ancient Rome, when is entrance free, and when you need a reservation.
In addition to helping you plan your trip, we will also give you an idea of what to expect, how to attend mass, and how to take a guided tour.
- Guided Tours
- Plan Your Visit
- What to See and Do
- Attend Mass
- Tips For Getting Tickets
- Things to Do in Rome
Beginning on July 1st, 2023, tourists will be required to pay for entry to the Pantheon.
The fee is small, but this is actually a big change because until now, admission has always been free at least during weekdays.
Here are the new ticket prices:
- €2/Youth (18-25)
- Free for Rome residents, visitors attending religious service, and everyone under 18.
Click here to purchase tickets directly from the Ministry of Culture in Rome.
NOTE: Only EU credit cards/paypal are accepted.
The easiest way to pay for this ticket is simply by walking up to the queue for entry with the €5 in hand. While the line can get long, many travelers report it moves fast.
There is also a QR code you can scan at the entry to the Pantheon to purchase tickets on your phone and walk right in, which might be faster and would obviously require less standing in line
Although it hasn't yet been added to any Rome discount pass, there's a good chance it will soon be included with at least one of these services.
For more recommendations about tickets, make sure to read our section including tips and advice from both locals and travelers.
There are a lot of tour services in Rome that offer a guided trip through the Pantheon, as well as audio guides you can use to take a self-guided tour of the landmark.
Discover the Pantheon
This is a 45-minute guided tour of the Pantheon offered daily in English every hour on the hour between 09:00 am and 17:00 (5 pm)
It's also offered on a more limited basis in French and Italian.
NOTE: If you plan to visit on the weekend or a public holiday, you will need to book either this tour or their audio tour.
- Tickets: €30.50 per adult | Free for Children
- Free cancellation up to 24 hours prior.
- Book here.
Official Pantheon Audio Tour
This option is provided for a small fee at the service desk inside the Pantheon.
Although it is short, you will learn a lot about the building and its history while walking around and listening to the tour.
This is also one of the most affordable options on our list.
NOTE: If you're visiting on a weekend or a public holiday, you will need to book either this audio tour or their traditional tour above. This is the cheapest option for those days.
- Tickets: €8.75 per person
- Availability: During operational hours
- Duration: 35 minutes
- Click here to purchase tickets.
For more tours that cover this historic site, check our post about City Centre Tours.
Here is a clip of the Pantheon from our free audio tour of central Rome.
Rick Steves' Pantheon Audio Tour
This is our recommended way to experience the Pantheon. Rick Steves produces high-quality (and free) audio tours.
All you have to do is download the audio onto your smartphone and listen to it with a pair of earbuds or headphones.
Although this option is a bit shorter than the official audio tour, you won’t have to pay anything to hear it, and it's a very quality tour.
Rome in a Day Tour
In addition to covering the Pantheon, this day-long walking tour also includes almost a variety of other famous landmarks in the city, including the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and more.
While on this outing, you can expect to gain privileged entrance to the Colosseum and Vatican Museums, as well as transportation to and from Vatican City.
- €149/Adults | €139/Children
- Max of 18 guests
- Duration: 7 ½ hours
- Availability: Mon - Sat at 8:45 am
- Purchase tickets or learn more.
Rome Family Tour
If you’re looking for a more family-friendly trip to all of the major historic sites in Rome, this is one of the best options.
Your tour guide will take you to locations such as the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Trevi Fountain.
As you walk around the city, your kids will be given a scavenger hunt and various trivia to keep them entertained and help them learn about Roman history.
- Ticket Prices: €199/Adults | €59/Children
- Parents can bring their Infants for FREE
- Availability: Daily at 10 am & 2 pm
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Click here to purchase tickets.
The following section will help you plan your outing to the Roman Pantheon, including the best times to visit, hours of operation, what to expect, and nearby attractions.
How to Get to the Pantheon
There are several ways to reach this historic site, but the most popular method is simply to walk.
Most people in Rome walk from one destination to the next, but there is also a metro system that you can use.
For specific directions from your point of departure to the Pantheon, use this helpful Google Directions link and map.
There is no Metro station nearby, but there are two bus stops near Piazza Navona, a location that is only about 5 minutes from the Pantheon.
Read our guide to Rome's public transportation if you are new to the system.
It's also a stop on many of our free walking tours of Rome.
Alternatively, if you are considering or have purchased a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, then you will have stops just a 5-minute walk away.
Best Times to Visit
As with most historic landmarks, the Pantheon can get pretty busy during certain times of the day/week.
Roman Pantheon Opening Hours
- Mon-Sat: 8:30 am – 21:30 (7:30 pm)
- Sunday: 9:00 am – 18:00 (6 pm)
- Closed on January 1st
- Closed on May 1st
- Closed December 25th
You can expect the largest crowds from the hours of 11:00 am - 18:00 (6 pm).
We recommend making your trip early in the morning between the hours of 9:00 am - 11:00 am for the fewest number of visitors.
Additionally, it is important to note that the Roman Pantheon is much busier on weekends than it is during the week.
Even though it can be busy during mid-day, several travelers recommend going between 11 am - 1 pm in order to catch the sun as it streams in through the oculus.
This photo is courtesy of TripAdvisor.
According to online reviews, many visitors indicate the crowds are usually manageable even when there are a lot of people in the building.
Another popular time to consider is during Mass.
The Pantheon is a functioning church and they hold services every Saturday at 17:00 (5 p.m.) and every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
For more details, check out our section on attending Mass.
TIP: You may even consider visiting the Pantheon when it is raining or even snowing.
Since the building has an open dome, the effect created by this precipitation is oftentimes beautiful and unexpected.
Many people actually recommend heading to this landmark when the weather is poor.
What to Expect
There is a lot to see here and you may want to consider going on a tour. These services are not free, but you can purchase them ahead of time.
For more information, check our Pantheon Tours section.
If you plan on going alone, you should prepare to spend at least 30-60 minutes at the Pantheon.
However, if you are going with a tour group, you can expect the trip to take anywhere from 1 ½ - 3 hours.
There are several notable attractions within a 5-10 minute walk of the Pantheon.
If you want to see more than just the immediate area, consider visiting locations like the Trevi Fountain, the largest baroque fountain in all of Rome.
Fontana del Moro is even closer, and it can be found in Piazza Navona.
The Mausoleum of Augustus is about ten minutes north of here, but it is definitely worth a trip.
Finally, we recommend heading about 15 minutes northeast to the Spanish Steps.
There is so much to experience at the Pantheon that you might miss a few important details if you don’t keep an eye out for them.
Although construction began in 27 BC under orders from Roman Consul Marcus Agrippa, the Pantheon was actually built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, making is one of the most historic buildings in all of Rome.
As a result of its age, you can expect to see a lot of important attractions including noteworthy tombs, chapels, and more.
With that in mind, this section will provide information about the more notable things to see and do while at this historic site.
Piazza della Rotonda
This is the piazza right outside the Pantheon and there are a few things to see while you’re here.
The first noteworthy attraction is the Fontana del Pantheon, a beautiful fountain found in the center of the piazza.
You will also find an obelisk named Obelisco Macutèo which was originally from the Temple of Ra in Heliopolis.
While you’re at this landmark, you may want to get a good look at it from the outside.
The dome is definitely a sight to behold from the inside, but don’t forget to see its exterior as well.
The portico, with its beautiful columns, is an excellent example of classic Roman architecture.
And the large bronze doors to the cella (inner chamber) are noteworthy because they are a bit too small for the frame.
These are not the original doors, but they have been in place since the 15th century.
Once you enter the Pantheon, you will see the Rotunda. This area was so perfectly designed that you could fit a 43.3 m (142 ft) diameter sphere in the center.
This structure still holds the record for the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.
No matter where you look, you are likely to see a variety of different architectural features and religious symbols.
The dome of the Pantheon is quite special because it has an oculus at the top which is open to the elements.
This means that when it starts to rain, you will see the water falling down into the building.
There is an area beneath the Oculus which was specifically created for runoff from rainwater.
During special events, they will sometimes drop thousands of rose petals through the oculus and let them rain down to the floor.
If you come during the day, you may have the opportunity to see the sun shining through as it passes overhead.
Another interesting thing about this feature is that it might have actually been designed as a sundial, allowing visitors to tell the time by where the sun was shining through the oculus.
Tomb of Raphael
Located inside the Pantheon, you will find the burial site of well-known painter and renaissance man Raphael.
This famous artist has been given a very special place of honor, with a sculpture of the Madonna del Sasso located above it.
This statue was created by Raphael’s student Lorenzetto.
Tomb of Victor Emmanuel II
In addition to Raphael’s tomb, you will also find the burial location of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy.
Above the tomb, you will find a statue of an eagle.
His name is written below along with the phrase “Padre della Patria,” which means “Father of the Fatherland.”
Tomb of Umberto I
Another notable memorial in this building is the tomb of King Umberto I.
He was the son of Victor Emmanuel II and as a result, he was buried right next to his father in the Pantheon.
He was married to Margherita of Savoy, for whom the Margherita Pizza was originally named.
On the top of this monument is a stone pillow with a replica of the Iron Crown of Lombardy, signifying his contribution as a leader of Italy.
There are several chapels located in the Pantheon with notable artwork adorning the altars.
The Chapel of the Madonna of Mercy features a 15th-century painting entitled The Madonna of Mercy between St. Francis and St. John the Baptist.
Other chapels include historic creations such as the sculpture of St. Joseph and the Holy Child by Vincenzo de Rossi.
NOTE: Did you know that the Pantheon was not initially used as a church? It wasn't until the year 608 that Emperor Phocas gave this building to Pope Boniface IV.
The Pantheon is a functional Christian church that provides services for the community.
You can attend every Sunday at 10:30 am and on Saturday at 17:00 (5 pm).
The Roman Pantheon, officially called Pantheon Basilica of Santa Maria ad Martyres", is still a fully functional church that provides Mass twice a week. All visitors are welcome to attend if they wish.
Many tourists indicate that the service held here on weekends is absolutely lovely.
Whether or not you are a Catholic, you may want to consider coming at the following times to experience this free event.
If you are not a local, you may want to let the security guards know that you are there for Mass before lining up.
This can be a popular event and the guards will do their best to keep tourists out during these times unless they specifically show an interest in attending Mass.
- Saturday at 5 pm
- Sunday at 10:30 am
Tips From Locals and Travelers
If you still have questions about visiting the Pantheon, consider asking them on our Rome Travel Tips Facebook Group.
Travelers and even locals in Rome often use this and other social media groups to provide helpful advice or suggestions for anyone visiting the city.
Here are a few examples of the types of information you can expect to find using these services.
A lot of travelers are still surprised to find out that the Pantheon is no longer free to visit, but thankfully it seems most responses are either positive or accepting.
As Linda notes, it's probably a good thing to keep these priceless historic landmarks in excellent shape, and charging these small fees allow them to do just that!
Stephen here feels that although it's no longer free to visit, the Pantheon is still worth the cost of admission just to experience the incredible structure.
If you're planning to purchase tickets ahead of time, it's important to keep in mind that you can only buy them directly from the official website.
Even then, as Sam points out, you need either an EU credit card or a Paypal account.
While most visitors insist that you won't have to wait long in the queue, even 10-15 minutes in the sun might be enough to warrant purchasing admission ahead of time.
Allen provides another helpful tip here, revealing that travelers with a smartphone can simply scan the QR code at the entry to the queue and get tickets that will allow them to walk in immediately.
In addition to the advice you can find on our Rome Travel Tips page, there is another excellent Facebook Group called Rome & Italy Travel that you might want to check out if you need more suggestions about visiting the Pantheon.
No matter how you choose to pay for admission, chances are that the users of these Facebook Groups will be able to help you to further plan our your trip to the Pantheon.