Rome Tourist Attraction Passes: Which one is the best to buy?

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This post includes information on the four best Rome tourist passes. We list prices, what’s included, and if they are worth buying. Trying to see all the sights in Rome can feel overwhelming. Between the city museums, archaeological sites, the Vatican, tours, and hop-on, hop-off buses, it’s hard to find the time and money to check off all your must-dos.  Fortunately, discount tourist passes can help you save both time and money. 

 


ARE ROME TOURIST PASSES WORTH IT?

If you’re going to see two or more sites in Rome, then the answer is probably yes.  

Passes can save you plenty of money, but they can also save you time. Passes often include “skip-the-line” or “skip-the-queue” tickets which allow you to enter an attraction without waiting in the ticket queues, which sometimes can save you hours.  

Most of these passes act as your transportation card as well, allowing free boarding on the subway, buses, and trams, saving you precious vacation time trying to figure out how to buy your transport tickets

Likewise, a few passes include hop-on-hop-off bus service.

Also, passes usually include free maps and informational booklets to further help you maximize your visit. 

If you are traveling with children, keep in mind that many of Rome’s top museums and sights, including the Colleseum, the Vatican museum, and Galleria Borghese, offer free or reduced cost entry to children under the age of 18. 

If these places are the on your “must-see” list, spend some time and do the math. It may cost more to buy passes than pay for each attraction separately. This is definitely the case with one of the passes in this post, the Rome City Pass.

However, without a pass, you may be giving up the ‘skip-the-line’ advantage and lose valuable time. 

TIP: When deciding if you should buy a pass or not, we recommend that you do some advance planning.  Click here to see a sampling of costs of attractions and also transport tickets. 

Rome Discount Passes

The top three Rome tourist passes are the Omnia Vatican and Rome Card, the Rome City Pass (Turbopass) and Roma Pass.  

There is a lesser-known card, Rome City Pass that operates a little differently than the other three. We have written about it in its own section. 

All three passes pictured above have many features in common, but also have some variation, so it is important that you read all the fine print.

All three of the discount passes below offer these money-saving features:

  • free or reduced hop-on-hop-off bus tour tickets
  • and some form of unlimited free use of public transportation 
  • free or reduced price museum and attraction entry
  • fast track (‘skip the line’) entry at some attractions

 


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OMNIA VATICAN AND ROME CARD    

This is an excellent pass for visitors who want to see the top sights in limited time, visitors who want to avoid long ticket queues, see the Vatican sights, and like taking hop-on-hop-off sightseeing buses.  

This may seem at first glance as a pricey pass, but if you have a limited amount of time in Rome and plan to visit the most famous attractions, this pass can save you lots of time and money. 

It has two components: one is the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card for Vatican City sights & tours as well as unlimited use of the Roma Cristiana hop-on-hop-off bus.  

The other is a 3-day Roma Passwhich means you have 3 days of free city transportation plus the other benefits.

 

 


What’s included: 

  • Free entry to Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel (with a free downloadable audio guide for St Peter’s Basilica)
  • Free entry to your choice of 2 out of 6 top Rome attractions including The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, Capitoline Museums, Borghese Gallery and National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo
  • Fast Track Entry to St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel & The Colosseum
  • Free, unlimited use of the Roma Cristiana hop-on-hop-off bus
  • Free travelcard for unlimited access to Rome’s public transport system
  • Discounted Entry to another 30 plus sights, attractions and museums in Rome
  • Free guidebook and detailed map 

Prices (as of June 2017)

  • Card for 3 consecutive days
  • €113 for Adults
  • €85 for Children (ages 6-9)
  • For more information and to purchase click here.   

Fine Print

  • The OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. Once you activate it by visiting your first attraction.
  • The card runs for  72 consecutive hours.  If you activate your card on a Monday, that is your first day and thus Wednesday is your last day. Note: if you start using your card in the late afternoon or evening that will still count as your first full day. So start your day early! 
  • The included travelcard does not include travel to and from the city airports.

Reviews

Guests loved the ability to see a large variety of attractions in three days. They also loved the convenience of the Roma Cristiana hop-on-hop-off bus. Many reviewers commented that the price of the card was worth the skip-the-line passes alone.

The best part of this pass was that customers were able to use the Omnia Card as their metro card for three days—without the hassle of buying separate metro tickets.

Some guests were unhappy with the signage and wait times of the hop-on-hop-off buses (a common complaint with all hop-on-hop-off bus companies), but they were pleased to use the card on the metro.

See our post Bus Tours of Rome for a review of the Omnia Card’s hop-on, hop-off bus, the Roma Cristiana.

Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?

If you’re planning to hit the Vatican Museums and two other attractions in three days, the Omnia Card is definitely worth the money; you can save up to €45.

Check out Omnia Card’s suggested itinerary to see the breakdown for yourself.
 


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ROMA PASS

The Roma Pass is the “official” sightseeing pass for Rome and it is offered by the city itself because the city actually owns or manages many of the attractions and museums you will want to see in the City of Rome.  

This card is best for those on a budget and museum lovers. They can be purchased in advance, or at any official tourist office or at the Termini Railway Station.

This pass is sold as either a 2-day card with 1 free attraction or 3-day card with 2 free attractions. You also get reduced entry at 45+ museums and attractions. Prices are discounted between 15% and 50% on regular prices. (See the list of sites here along with your reduced price).

One significant aspect of this pass is that it does not include the Vatican, Vatican Museums and St Peter’s.

The Roma Pass acts as your travel card for unlimited travel within main parts of the city. 

 

 

What’s Included

  • 1 free attraction with a 2-day pass or 2 free attractions with a 3-day pass (you choose the attractions)
  • free use of the city’s public transport network 
  • reduced ticket prices to museums and archaeological sites – 15% – 50% savings
  • discounted tickets to exhibitions, events and other collaborating operators and businesses
  • 15% discount on all hop-on, hop off buses (onboard or at their offices only)

Prices: (as of June 2017)

  • 2-Day + 1 free attraction 
    • €28 regardless of age.  
  • 3-Day + 2 free attractions
    • €38.50 per person regardless of age

For more information and to purchase tickets click here.


TIP:  Choose the most expensive attraction(s) you want to see as your first attraction(s) to see. Remember the RomaPass comes with free entry for one or two attractions (depending on which pass you buy.) Good choices to use as your freebie(s) are the Capitoline Museums, Galleria Borghese, and the Colosseum/Roman Forum.  


Note: Be sure to visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum on the SAME DAY to make sure it is counted as one attraction. 


Before you buy: 

Before buying a pass, find out if you might already be entitled to a reduced price based on age or status. There are several museum networks in Rome and they have different concessions policies and you may find that buying the pass isn’t worth it.

But more likely than not, relying on museum reduced prices will not save you nearly as much as the pass will.

If you are traveling with young children, you should check to see which museums and attractions offer free admission based on age.  Many museums do as well as transportation reductions. 

Fine Print:

  • You can only buy up to four Roma Passes online.
  • You must wait 24 hours after you purchase your card to pick it up.
  • Valid for consecutive days only.
  • Roma Pass will not refund the price of the card due to museum closures.
  • Airport transfers are not included in the public transportation portion of the card.

Reviews of the Roma Pass

Reviewers who didn’t care to see the Vatican Museums loved this less-expensive option. The Roma Pass gives you fast track tickets to the Colosseum, which reviewers found extremely helpful during peak travel seasons.

If you’re not interested in using a hop-on-hop-off bus, this is definitely the pass for you. You don’t pay for services you won’t use; plus, if you change your mind and decide you want to ride one loop on the CitySights bus, you can get 20% off the price of your ticket.


Bottom Line: Is it worth it?

If you’ve come to Rome for archaeological sites and non-religious museums, this pass can be perfect. You save around €10 if you just visit the Colosseum, one other museum, and use the metro for three days. If you want to take advantage of additional discounts, you can save even more money.

 


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ROME CITY PASS – TURBO PASS

This card is a good value for those who will visit religious sites, archaeological sites, those who enjoy hop-on-hop-off bus riders and travelers who prefer to move at their own pace. It comes in increments of 2 days, 3 days or 6 days.

What’s included

Whichever number of days you choose, all passes come with the following (valid only for the number of days you purchase): 

  • Free use of metro, buses, and trams 
  • Unlimited use of the CityRoma hop-on-hop-off bus
  • Fast track (‘skip the line’) entry for some museums and attractions

Here are just a few of the 60+ attractions  

  • The Sistine Chapel
  • Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel) 
  • Museo Pietro Canonica a Villa Borghese
  • Villa di Massenzio
  • Colosseum/Roman Forum/Palatine Hill

Prices

  • 2-Day Pass
    • €89.90 for Adults
    • €45.90 for Teens (10-17 years)
    • €29.90 for Children (6-9 years)
    • Free 5 years and under
  • 3-Day Pass  (Bonus: includes Castel Sant’Angelo) 
    • €99.90 for Adults
    •  €49.90 for Teens (10-17 years)
    • €29.90 for Children (6-9 years)
    • Free 5 years and under
  • 6-Day Pass (Bonus: includes Castel Sant’Angelo, Galleria Borghese, and Via Appia Antica)
    • €159.90 for Adults
    • €69.90 for Teens
    • €29.90 for Children (ages 1-5) 

For more information and to purchase tickets click here.

Fine Print

  • Days are consecutive.
  • Passes are non-transferable
  • You may cancel your purchase (without stating a reason) upon 1 day up to your arrival.  You will be reimbursed the entire purchase price, less a 20 € service charge.

Reviews of the Turbo Pass

Reviewers who wanted to see more sites with fewer time constraints and those who wanted to see more than two non-Vatican sites were extremely happy with the Turbo Pass. Most reviewers commented that the skip-the-line tickets were worth the price of the pass alone.   

This pass is slightly less expensive than the Omnia Card for the three-day pass, and guests loved that they saw more sites with fewer restrictions. 

The hop-on, hop-off bus service that they use is CityRoma are so poorly-reviewed that we don’t even include them on our bus comparison page.  If you buy this pass, don’t buy it for this service.  

Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?

If you want to see more than two non-Vatican sites or want to spread your time sightseeing over more than three days, the Turbo Pass should be worth the price. Depending on how many attractions you want to see, you could save well over €100.  Just don’t buy it for the hop-on-hop-off service.

 


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ROME CITY PASS  

Rome City Pass

Unlike the other passes above, this pass does not limit you to a set number of days (except for the hop-on-hop-off bus portion). This feature alone may make one of these passes right for you.

This pass is best for people who are already planning on visiting the included attractions AND would like to be able to purchase discounted tickets to other attractions ahead of time.

Because your pass is emailed to you right after you complete your purchase, you can begin to use that 20% discount to book other attractions not included in the pass before you even get to Rome.

There are two versions of this pass which allow you to tailor the pass to suit your interests, needs, and budget.  Both versions include:

  • skip-the-line tickets to Colosseum
  • skip-the-line tickets to St Peter’s Basilica with an audio guide
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour (either 24 or 48 hours) with City Sightseeing Bus Tours
  • A unique code to receive 20% discount on many other attractions, museums, excursions
  • No set number of days in which to visit the included attractions
  • “Paperless” pass –  use your smartphone as your pass or print it up- your choice!

The Fine Print: The Rome City Pass does not include public transportation in the city, but you can buy it with 20% discount on their website. Passes are non-refundable after purchase.


Rome City Pass with optional add-on Vatican Museums 

This pass includes:

  • skip-the-line ticket to St. Peter’s Basilica + audioguide
  • skip-the-line ticket Colosseum ticket + audioguide 
  • Airport return transfer from Fiumicino or Ciampino airports
  • 24 Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus ticket with City Sightseeing Bus Tours
  • 20% Discount code for dozens of top museums, attractions, tours and outside Rome excursions
  • option to add-on Vatican Museums for an additional cost

Prices: 

  • Without the Vatican
    • Adult €65
    • Child 14-17 €52
    • Child 5-14 €50
    • Child (0-5) €5
  • Including the Vatican
    • Adult €93
    • Child 14-17 €72
    • Child 5-14 €58
    • Child (0-5) €5

More information or to purchase.

 


Rome City Pass with optional add-on Airport Return transfer

This pass includes:

  • skip-the-line ticket to St. Peter’s Basilica + audioguide
  • skip-the-line tickets to Vatican Museum
  • skip-the-line ticket to Colosseum + Roman Forum 
  • 48Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus ticket
  • 20% Discount code for dozens of top museums, attractions, tours and outside Rome excursions
  • option to add-on airport return transfer from Fiumicino or Ciampino airports

Prices: 

  • Without Airport Transfer
    • Adult €96
    • Child 5-17 €58
    • Child (0-5) €20
  • With Airport Transfer
    • Adult €105
    • Child 5-17 €67
    • Child (0-5) €30

More information or to purchase.

 


Bottom Line: Is it worth it?

First, it seems that none of the Rome City Pass options is worth buying for anyone 17 and under. Rome museums and attractions are very generous with discounted prices for youth. Some attractions are even free for teens and toddlers.

The Rome City Pass (with optional Vatican) is definitely worth the €65 price for adult travelers who do not add the Vatican to the pass. When you add up the regular ticket prices of the attractions included in this pass, you see the difference is just a few euro.

The pass has a number of benefits that easily make up for those few extra euros. First, the 20% discount on certain museums and attractions can save you money. For example, if you go to the Galleria Borghese, you will save €4 and you have broken even.  

The Rome City Pass (with optional airport transfer) is probably not worth the price as you will spend €24 more than if you purchased each attraction separately. Whether or not you include the airport transfer makes little difference since the price with or without the pass is about the same. 

Even with the 20% discount you get at many other top attractions, you would have to go to many other attractions and museums to make up for that €24 difference.

For example, the discount will save you €4 at the Galleria Borghese. But imagine how much more you’d have to do to break even! If you plan to do a lot, then this pass, with its conveniences noted above, might be ok for you.

 


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PRICE COMPARISON EXAMPLE

If you already know where you are planning to go and which museums and sites are on your list, you may want to get out that calculator and see if the savings are worth buying a pass.  Sometimes passes cost more than if you paid for everything individually. But passes can also make life easier and that has a value of its own.

If you visit these attractions, this is what you would pay based on regular prices for one adult as of  January 2018.  Remember: these prices do not include a fast-track entry so you will be wasting valuable time just waiting to get in. As they say, “Time is money”.

  • Colosseum/Roman Forum/Palatine Hill (one-day)  €12
  • Sistine Chapel/Vatican Museums  €17
  • Capitoline Museums  €15
  • St. Peter’s Basilica  Free entry, but with a useful audio guide €15.00
  • Galleria Borghese € 15
  • 2-day hop-on, hop off bus tour (in lieu of public 3-day transportation card and more fun) €31

The above itinerary without a pass would cost you €111.  But with a 3-Day OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card at €113, you have just about broken even, but you will get fast-track entry for some sites and also discounted admission at 30 more sites.

As you can see, spending some time in advance planning what you want to see and checking out prices can help you make the right decision about getting a pass or not. 

 


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PRICES WITHOUT A PASS  (as of  January 2018)

Rome Metro Tickets – Regular Prices

  • Single-Ride Ticket €1,50  Valid: 75 minutes
  • One-Day Ticket €7, Valid: 1 day on any public bus, metro, or tram. Expires at midnight on the day of validation
  • Three-Day Ticket €16,50 Valid: Three consecutive days on any public bus, metro, or tram.
  • One-Week Ticket €24 Valid: 7 consecutive days; good for only one rider
  • Children free if 10 and under accompanied by a paying adult

Top 3 Rome Museums and Attractions – Regular prices 

  • Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill (valid for 2 days)  
    • Adults € 12 
    • Children 17 and under FREE
    • Reduced Fee for EU citizens ages 18-25 and EU teachers € 7.50
    • Add € 2 for an online purchase. Highly recommended as lines are very long).
  • Gallery Borghese (Ticket reservations are required)
    • Adults € 13 plus € 2 mandatory reservation fee
    • Children 17 and under FREE plus € 2 mandatory reservation fee
    • Reduced Fee for EU citizens ages 18-25  € 6.50 plus € 2 mandatory reservation fee
  • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel (grounds are an additional fee) 
    • Adults € 17 
    • Children between the ages of 6 and 18 years € 8.00 with valid ID
    • Children below the age of 6 FREE
    • Reduced Fee for EU citizens ages 18-25 and EU teachers € 8
    • Add € 4 for an online purchase. Highly recommended as lines are very long).

 


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