I’m a big fan of European city and museum passes. While not all are created equally, generally speaking, city passes like the Roma Pass save you time, money and make your sightseeing days easier and less stressful. And among European museum passes, the Roma Pass truly stands out. It offers free admission to your first two sights, discounted admission for other sights, line-skipping privileges at many of Rome’s most-crowded attractions (which is pretty much all of them) and free use of public transportation.
Why should I get a Roma Pass?
Hate lines? Like saving money? Prefer sightseeing with fewer hassles? The Roma Pass checks all those boxes. With a Roma Pass, visiting Rome’s sights becomes magically easier and cheaper. You’ll pay way less than if you bought tickets for each site separately. Additionally, you’ll get to skip the long lines.
Popular sights included on the Roma Pass:
- Galleria Borghese
- Capitoline Museums
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Rome National Museums
- Ara Pacis
- Palazzo Valentini
- Ostia Antica (including the train out there)
In addition, you get unlimited use of the in-town buses, Metro and trams. Plus, passholders receive a cool and useful fold-out map of the city that will make a great keepsake for your trip. I still have all of mine!
However, you should keep in mind a few popular attractions that aren’t included:
- Vatican Museums
- Domus Aurea
- Night visits to the Colosseum
- Viaggio nei Fori
- Leonardo Express train from Fiumicino into Rome Termini (i.e., the train from the airport to the city center)
Unless you’re spending your entire trip inside Vatican City, buying a Roma Pass is a no-brainer. So that leaves just one question…
How do I buy a Roma Pass?
Purchase options abound, including online and at the sights included in the pass. However, the better option is to buy a pass at a subway ticket office, tourist office or tobacco shop. Additionally, you can buy a pass at all Trenitalia (Italy’s national railway) ticket offices.
Only adults need a Roma Pass. Kids under 18 gain free entry to national museums and sights and can skip the line alongside their pass-wielding parents. However, you will need to buy transit tickets for anyone 10 years and older.
The pass is activated the first time that you use it. Whenever you visit one of the included sights, just present your pass. On a bus or the Metro, place the card on the black circle of the yellow reader to ride for free.
As of 2019, the Roma pass costs €38.50 for a 72-hour pass or €28 for a 48-hour pass (includes only one free sight rather than the two freebies on the 72-hour pass).
Pro tips for using the Roma Pass
To ensure you receive your money’s worth, use your pass at the two most-expensive sights first: The Colosseum and Capitoline Museums.
Also, don’t be afraid to get aggressive! One of the most exciting benefits of the Roma Pass is skipping lines, so at crowded sights like the Colosseum, just push to the front of the line with your Roma Pass in-hand and visible.