Pantheon Rome Tickets – How to visit the Pantheon and avoid the queue
Visiting the Pantheon in Rome to witness an architectural wonder of the ancient world is a must when in Italy’s capital. It’s one of the most popular sights in Rome – a good reason to make sure you have all the answers on your questions before you visit. Like: “Is the Pantheon free?” and “What Pantheon Rome hours suit you best?”.
We answer all these questions and more, including why it’s advisable to have a skip the line ticket even though no Pantheon Rome tickets are required for admission.
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What is the Rome Pantheon?
The Pantheon Rome is an architectural masterpiece which has been in continuous use since its dedication around 126 AD. As such, it’s also one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings.
The Pantheon is in the heart of ancient Rome facing the Piazza della Rotonda, a lively square. Completed during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, the dedication is said to have taken place around 126 AD.
Pope Boniface IV officially transformed the Pantheon into a church at the beginning of the 7th century. It was the first pagan temple to be turned into a Christian church. A lesser known fact is that it’s dedicated to St Mary and the Martyrs.
What makes the Roman Pantheon so special?
After almost 2,000 years, the dome of the Pantheon in Rome is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. In fact, it held the record as the largest dome overall for an incredible 1,300 years.
There is a central opening, called an oculus, in the top of the dome. The oculus is 9 m in diameter and allows natural light in to illuminate the Pantheon. Something to marvel at is that the distance from the floor to the oculus and the diameter of the dome’s interior circle are both 43.3 m or 142 feet.
5 interesting facts about Rome Pantheon
- The Roman Pantheon is also known as the Pantheon of Agrippa, who commissioned an earlier temple which stood on the same site. Hadrian chose to keep the original inscription which can still be seen on the 16 granite columns of the rectangular façade. It reads M.AGRIPPA.L.F.COS.TERTIVM.FECIT, meaning Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, built this temple when he was a Consul.
- The word Pantheon comes from the Greek Pantheion which means “(temple) of all the gods” or “honor all gods”.
- The most famous remains in the Pantheon are those of the Renaissance painter and architect Raphael. Members of Italy’s short-lived royal family were also buried here during the 19th century.
- The Pantheon Rome did not only survive the onslaught of the elements over the centuries but also wars and battles which left most other Roman monuments shattered.
- The “Fountain of the Pantheon” in front of the ancient church. The original fountain was a marble sculpture by Leonardo Sormani from a 1575 design of Giacomo della Porta, a well-known architect of the time. It was redesigned in 1711 on the request of Pope Clement XI. It now has a stone basin and obelisk of Ramses II which is set on a plinth in the centre with four dolphins as decoration.
How to get to the Pantheon Rome
It’s position in the heart of the city makes it easy to reach the Pantheon by foot or by Rome public transport.
The lanes leading to the Piazza della Rotonda are too narrow for buses. However, most hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses stop close enough to reach the Piazza in a few minutes.
While there is no Metro station nearby, a few public city buses stop close enough (near Piazza Navona) to walk to the Pantheon. They are the numbers 64, 40 and 60 that shuttle between most main sights in Rome.
Prepare for at least a 5-minute walk to the Pantheon irrespective of how you arrive on the outskirts of the Piazza della Rotonda.
If you're planning to get around by public transportation in Rome, you should take a look at the 72-hours travel card that give you free access to buses, trams, metros and trains. On top oh that, you will get a free one-way transfer to Rome Central Station.
Pantheon Rome Tickets
Is the Pantheon free?
Despite plans by the Italian Minister of Culture to start charging for admission, the good news is that entry into the Pantheon is still free. Keep this in mind if someone tries to sell you Pantheon Rome tickets on the Piazza della Rotonda. If they persist, try to find a security guard or policeman to help you shake them off.
The proposed fee for Pantheon Rome tickets is €2. But until there is a final decision and implementation, the answer to the question: Is the Pantheon free? remains positive.
However, the fact that admission is free doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from Pantheon Rome tickets to skip the line! It guarantees quick access to one of Rome’s most visited monuments, especially during popular Pantheon Rome hours.
You may also consider including the Pantheon in a guided tour. Check out some options here.
The best time to visit the Pantheon
The general Pantheon Rome hours are:
Monday to Saturday: 09:00 to 19:15
Sunday: 09:00 to 17:45
Public holidays: 09:00 to 12:45
Note: The Pantheon is closed while a mass is underway and on some public holidays.
Although the Pantheon Rome Hours are reasonable, it’s hard to find a time during the day that isn’t busy. Even so, you can expect the largest crowds between 11:00 and 18:00 when tour groups come and go. The two hours between 09:00 and 11:00 are generally the quietest. Also remember that weekends are busier than weekdays. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the least busy days of the week.
Top Tip: Even if it may get crowded, the time around mid-day (from 11:00 to 13:00) is a good time to visit if you want to see the sun streaming through the oculus of the Pantheon. Likewise, if you’re religious and want to attend mass, there are services at 10:30 on Sundays and 17:00 on Saturdays.
How much time do I need to visit the Pantheon?
Most people who visit on their own spend between 30 and 60 minutes at the Pantheon. However, it could take longer if you join one of the special, informative tours.
If you’re not interested in joining a tour but would still like more information about what you’re seeing, it’s possible to book a Pantheon audio guide online before your visit on this website.
Is it worth visiting the Pantheon in bad weather?
Absolutely! The precipitation caused by rain or snow creates an unusual and beautiful light effect in the Pantheon. And can you believe that the genius Roman engineers who built the dome also built drains in the marble floors all those years ago?
This contributed to the preservation of the marble which is still in remarkable shape after such a long time. Let's get here for all regarding weather in Rome.
Pantheon Rome Tickets Conclusion
Visiting the Pantheon and gazing up to heaven through the eye of a cast concrete dome that’s nearly 2,000 years old may be one of the most rewarding experience in Rome. Who knows who stood at that exact same spot before you?
By doing some planning ahead of time with our useful guide, you can enjoy the Pantheon to its fullest. Don’t think twice about getting skip the line tickets, especially if you can only visit during the busiest hours.